KCUR News
12:36 am
Fri March 13, 2009

Council Hears Benefits Plan, Buys Time On Budget

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council had hoped to have a finished budget ordinance, but didn't accomplish that. On the day the council had hoped to put figures on the table, it heard a report on an employee benefit package that was both a victory and a disappointment.

Budget Director Troy Schulte and others had hoped to self-insure city workers at substantial savings. Turnaround time was to short for self-insurance, but Schulte told how a committee avoided a 12 percent cost increase current providers were going to charge.

"We got about 6 million in savings," said Schulte... "We needed about 9 million in savings. So we've been directed to try to find some alternatives to help you close that gap."

It's just one of many budget issues still up in the air in trying to cope with an $85 million shortfall.

So the council introduced ordinances to make it possible to raise property taxes and increase water and sewer rates to comply with deadlines in the eventuality the council wants to do that.

A semi-final budget proposal is expected next week.